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152                  HISTORY OF PERSIA                 CHAP.
their own bodies.    The women were of course the prey
of the captors.
From Bokhara Chengiz followed the fertile valley of
the Zarafshan to Samarcand, which was strongly garrisoned
by forty thousand men. No resistance, however, was
attempted; the Turkish section of the garrison sur-
rendered, hoping for good treatment, and massacre was
their reward. Of the inhabitants, thirty thousand artificers
were distributed among the Mongols, an equal number
were taken for use in military operations, and fifty
thousand were permitted to ransom themselves, but in
most cases were afterwards seized for military operations.
Indeed, the whole country was denuded of its population.
The Pursuit of Mohamed and his Death, A.H. 617
(1220).óWe must now turn to the cowardly Ala-u-Din
Mohamed. He had watched the Mongol irruption from
Samarcand as long as it was safe to do so, but when there
was danger of being besieged in his capital he fled to
Balkh, intending to take refuge at Ghazna. But he
changed his mind and proceeded to Nishapur, hoping
that the Mongols would return home after acquiring
such immense booty. His heroic son Jalal-u-Din in vain
begged to be allowed to defend the line of the Oxus,
exclaiming with generous heat that by this action they
would at any rate avoid the curses of their subjects, who
would say, "Up to now they have overwhelmed us
with taxes, and in the hour of danger they abandon us
to the fury of the Tartars." Mohamed declined either
to fight or to relinquish the command of the army to his
son, and hearing that the Mongols had crossed the Oxus
he fled from Nishapur, much as Darius had fled before
Alexander, and along the very same route, although in
the opposite direction.
From Samarcand Chengiz had despatched two bodies
of troops, each ten thousand strong, with instructions to
seek out Mohamed, to hold him if he intended to fight
a battle, and to pursue him if he fled, The division of
Chebe, passing by Nishapur, ravaged Kuchan, Isfarayin,
and Damghan, and, uniting with the division of Subutay
before Rei, surprised and sacked that city.